Sephora gets a new makeover of the mobile kind

Sephora augmented reality

Top cosmetic company pulls out the app card with new mobile campaign.

Sephora Mobile Campaign

Sephora’s latest makeover has nothing to do with the vast range of beauty products that it sells, but is instead a brand new social and mobile marketing strategy including an app, a site, and a personalized web experience.

This global beauty chain, which has over 1,600 locations around the world, has turned its strategy upside down and has brought its American digital operations up to a new level, with a whole new personal experience on the web, an iPhone application, and a brand new website designed for mobile devices.

Though many retailers have hesitated to make the leap to bring the offline and online worlds together, according to the senior vice president of Sephora Direct, Julie Bornstein, this company has chosen to embrace it as a method for coming together with consumers using the mobile devices that they prefer, and to keep those customers informed and engaged regarding the latest trends.

Bornstein explained that in 20 American stores, there are iPads being tested to allow customers to navigate among the thousands of different products offered by Sephora, and to discover the range of services available at the Beauty Studio, in addition to being able to learn all of the latest hair styling and makeup tips.

She said that this strategy allows the company to provide a much more personal experience, adding that “You can easily scan a product on the iPad and see what others say about it, or you can even look-up your own personal shopping history to find the right product.”

According to Bornstein, between the focus of management on the customer experience and the headquarters of the American operations in San Francisco, new technology is always being tested out to see what it has to offer. She also stated that “for us, it’s not just about what’s possible to be done, or what’s cool,” and pointed out that the company had received the top rank in the L2 retail analyst group’s “Mobile IQ”. Sephora is among the original retail brands to have established a deep integration with the Pinterest social site, which allows consumers to place “Pin It” buttons on the product pages to share what they like and are using.

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